152 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. their own bodies. The women were of course the prey of the captors. From Bokhara Chengiz followed the fertile valley of the Zarafshan to Samarcand, which was strongly garrisoned by forty thousand men. No resistance, however, was attempted; the Turkish section of the garrison sur- rendered, hoping for good treatment, and massacre was their reward. Of the inhabitants, thirty thousand artificers were distributed among the Mongols, an equal number were taken for use in military operations, and fifty thousand were permitted to ransom themselves, but in most cases were afterwards seized for military operations. Indeed, the whole country was denuded of its population. The Pursuit of Mohamed and his Death, A.H. 617 (1220).óWe must now turn to the cowardly Ala-u-Din Mohamed. He had watched the Mongol irruption from Samarcand as long as it was safe to do so, but when there was danger of being besieged in his capital he fled to Balkh, intending to take refuge at Ghazna. But he changed his mind and proceeded to Nishapur, hoping that the Mongols would return home after acquiring such immense booty. His heroic son Jalal-u-Din in vain begged to be allowed to defend the line of the Oxus, exclaiming with generous heat that by this action they would at any rate avoid the curses of their subjects, who would say, "Up to now they have overwhelmed us with taxes, and in the hour of danger they abandon us to the fury of the Tartars." Mohamed declined either to fight or to relinquish the command of the army to his son, and hearing that the Mongols had crossed the Oxus he fled from Nishapur, much as Darius had fled before Alexander, and along the very same route, although in the opposite direction. From Samarcand Chengiz had despatched two bodies of troops, each ten thousand strong, with instructions to seek out Mohamed, to hold him if he intended to fight a battle, and to pursue him if he fled, The division of Chebe, passing by Nishapur, ravaged Kuchan, Isfarayin, and Damghan, and, uniting with the division of Subutay before Rei, surprised and sacked that city.